Renwick fall at the 50th

31 Oct
  • Renwick suffer first defeat under new manager in nine goal thriller
  • McCavery adds 4 goals to his tally
  • Allure of 50th game draws record crowd
  • Cherryvale Playing Fields “naff”



Renwick’s excellent start to the season came to a shuddering halt this week against one of the new teams in the Belfast Super League, MGT FC. Having never met before, MGT were an unknown entity for the Elmwood crew, although having put six past World XI, Renwick knew they were in for their toughest test yet.

Renwick started with a familiar line-up, with Conor Hyndman replacing the injured Ian Buchanan just behind the attack after Michael Hawthorne went awol in the hours before kick-off, and Andrew Morrison returned at right-back. With one of the largest squads in recent memory, the subs’ bench was very strong,  including the likes of last season’s hardman, Dave Smith and veteran forward Robert Cromie. MGT boasted a similarly sized squad, a number of whom had featured for other clubs in previous seasons.


Waiting for his chance

From the kick-off it was clear the match was going to be a tight affair with Renwick not allowing MGT to play through the middle but failing to dominate possession and struggling to create any real chances. In their first meaningful attack, the lone MGT striker broke through the Renwick defense and was bearing down on goal when Gareth Smith had seemingly recovered his position before being forced to dive in and take a lot of the man and little of the ball. The referee correctly awarded a penalty which was duly converted.


For the first time in over four and a half hours of football, Renwick found themselves trailing and found it difficult to respond. The second MGT goal followed shortly after, coming down their right flank. A lack of communication from the left side of the pitch left an MGT forward unmarked, who from considerable distance and a tight angle produced a shot of the highest quality, looping in over the goalie giving him no chance and bouncing in off the far post.


Possibly the second

2-0 down with 15 minutes to go in the first half, things were looking bleak for Renwick. The midfield were struggling to get hold of the ball, on the wings neither McCaughan nor Dunwoody could find any space to expose and playing as the lone striker, McCavery was facing two experienced centre-halves who hadn’t given him an inch. However, with a renewed determination Renwick started to play football the way they had in the previous 3 games and the goal was not long in coming, with McCavery released from midfield and having seen his first shot acrobatically saved, headed home from close range. Meanwhile at the other end MGT had few chances in open play, their biggest threat coming from corners. Going in at half-time the score was 2-1.


Captain Phil encouraging

Having played their worst 45 minutes of the season, Renwick knew at the start of the second 45 they had it all to do. Shortly after the restart, Ben Hanna broke down the left wing, and with his last action of the game, crossed the ball allowing Mark to finish with ease. Having finally put themselves into a winning position Renwick ought to have stayed there. After the goal Morrison changed the whole left of the pitch, bringing on Dave Smith and Philip Aicken for Rob McCaughan and Ben Hanna, and moving the industrious Steven McCollum to left-back.


It was deemed unfair to unleash Pete on them


Mark was then at it again, with Conor winning to ball in midfield, and slotting it between the centre and full back to allow Mark to run through and claim yet another. See this goal below. However only minutes afterwards, MGT gained possession in midfield and with a shot from nowhere managed to draw level to 3-3. Unfortunately this goal was down to a goalkeeping error and the keeper will be hoping to improve on scenarios like this in weeks to come. What the visiting referee made of it is anyone’s guess.

DSC01339DSC01340DSC01342DSC01344DSC01346 DSC01348

Get in

On 65 minutes Renwick’s player/manager Morrison took himself off for young Chris Carson who played a very good 25 minutes at right-back following his noteworthy performance against Donegal Rangers the previous week, and minutes later captain Philip Dunwoody was replaced by Robert Cromie. The goals kept on coming for MGT however, and they added another two in quick succession. There were 15 minutes left on the clock and the scoreboard read 5-3 in MGT’s favour. Renwick’s play had improved greatly since the first half and spent the remainder of the game encampted in MGT’s half. McCavery managed to add a fourth but it was not to be enough. Gareth Smith saw a header glance just wide of the post and a further two chances were cleared off the line in the same attack. An indirect free kick awarded for time-wasting was wasted by Renwick and ended up a throw-in. Had the team had that little bit more composure you might have been reading this yesterday they might have snatched a point from the game, but it wasn’t to be.

Perhaps it was the pressure of previous results, or maybe it was the record crowd, could it have been the change of venue, or even the lack of skills? Whatever it was, I sure hope it doesn’t bother us next week.


Click for bigger

The management were unimpressed with the quality of the facilities at Cherryvale and will be seeking a return to the Ozone from next week. At the time of writing, fixtures for 4th November are unavailable, but keep an eye on the twitter feed on the right over the coming days.

A very big thanks to all who came and supported, it is very much appreciated. Come every week!


Man of the Match is this week shared between Mark McCavery for his 4 goal haul playing a very difficult role, and Andrew Lynch for the huge second half effort he put in in central midfield. Take note lads.



Other Photos










Stevie makes a guy look really silly



Not good






A day to forget?


Thanks to Bob and Sam for some fantastic photography


Doing what I do best


Finally, as a celebration of 50 Renwick games, a special shirt is being produced to mark the occasion. For those who have not been in Renwick recently, you can download the promotional poster here, and see a picture of the shirt below. Contact Andew Morrison if you’re interested. Cost – around £20

renwick 50 games shirt

Renwick: J. McCullough, A. Morrison, G. Smith, S. McCollum, B. Hanna, P. Dunwoody (c), G. Blackwell, A. Lynch, C. Hyndman, R. McCaughan, M. McCavery. Subs: C.Carson, C. Robert, P. Aicken, D. Smith, P. Fallows.


14 Responses to “Renwick fall at the 50th”

  1. rob dp October 31, 2009 at 12:43 pm #

    quite true the pitch was naff but worse was the midges. sorry to mark for not photographing any of his goals as i was selfish in wanting to see them with my own eyes & not through the camera lens.

  2. Daniel Ritchie October 31, 2009 at 12:47 pm #

    This reminds me of Arsenal losing at Old Trafford, after a run of 49 games unbeaten, a few years ago. I hope you did not resort to throwing pizzas afterwards. ;-)

  3. maaaaap November 2, 2009 at 1:39 am #

    Okay, Erin has brought it to my attention that her brilliant contribution to the match photography has gone unmentioned!! Of course she mostly just took photos of Andy, but she got a few really good ones, and I’m thinking a number of them were used in the post, so Erin definately deserves some credit =]

  4. Steelo November 3, 2009 at 12:04 am #

    Dear me, Jonny in Belfast again, is his life a holiday or what? Are you sure he’s doing STS in Letterkenny or is he actually doing it in S…?! And ‘Oh’ for the photo of him and Rosemary! And might as well do it for Luke and Cousin Amy while you’re at it (I know! but still)

    I’d be up for getting a shirt, but maybe not with 1688 on it! Anybody in Northern Ireland will see it and think of Orange-ness (google 1688 and the first site you get is wikipedia on the ‘Glorious’ Revolution and William of Orange). So instead of the year of Renwick’s death, maybe something like 1662-1688? (the years he lived?). Or get 1638 (or 1643)! The second Reformation and all that, the truths Renwick was dying for holding to (I know it was the Bible, but…) and all that…

  5. Steelo November 3, 2009 at 12:15 am #

    Well, after consultation with my fellow son of Ulster over here, maybe it’s only 1690 people at home know anything about? And 1688 does mark the end of the persecution…might be a good conversation starter (about why Renwick died and all that)!
    What do people think? Daniel?!

  6. James November 3, 2009 at 1:21 am #

    I’d have thought 1688 would be grand. The abscence of historical knowledge should surely be enough to stop people equating it with Bill? I like the idea of it being an oppertunity to witness.

    Steelo should you really be suggesting “oh”ing any photos after your latest blog post. ;)

  7. Daniel Ritchie November 3, 2009 at 9:10 am #

    1688 should be fine. Most people associate 1690 with Orangeism (actually, modern Orangeism is a post 1795 phenomena, organised by vigilantees).

    Speaking of which, I highly recommend reading W. P[aul]. Malcomson’s new book “Inside the Royal Black Institution.” You will be amazed at the pagan rituals and false doctrine being taught by this supposedly “Protestant” institution. My only (minor) reservation about the book would be about some ultra-Protestant critiques of the Crusades/Medieval Church (i.e. giving the impression that pre-Reformation Christianity = Romanism; a view that our Reformed forebears did not hold, and which is more akin to Anabaptism), and the emphasis on symbols (though I do believe that it is a breach of the rpw do ascribe a theological meaning to symbols which God does not).

  8. Daniel Ritchie November 3, 2009 at 9:22 am #

    Sorry, that should read: “I do believe that it is a breach of the rpw to ascribe a theological meaning to symbols which God does not”

  9. Mark November 3, 2009 at 9:44 pm #

    Hey 2nd goal was not set up by ben.
    4th goal deserved a description, conors assist/cross was immense.
    Final criticism is that the shirt should prob say 2006 since thats when the first of our 50 games was played at RH FC was est. 1688 has nothing really to do with the football or 50 games and the shirt is made for 50 games.

  10. Phil November 3, 2009 at 9:47 pm #

    I agree with the above comment. The shirt’s for our 50 games, not 1688! we could have 1688 – 2009 or somethin if people really want it, but 2006 was when the football started, so that’s what should be on the shirt. we’ll just work harder at witnessing on the pitch!

  11. Andy November 4, 2009 at 2:29 am #

    Ben was adamant about his assist, take it up with him. I wrote the report on Friday night so large chunks of it are pure fiction, loosely based on people’s expressions in photos as the game progressed, and how it went in my head..

    As for the year on the badge, I don’t have a strong opinion either way. People might think we’re claiming Renwick House was founded in 1688…I know it’s old like but.. Will discuss the matter further tomorrow anyway.

    Orders for shirts currently stand at 16 I believe…if you’re wanting one and haven’t said yet please do soon! Also note that we’re not going to be doing names on shirts, just numbers.

  12. Daniel Ritchie November 4, 2009 at 9:07 am #

    According to Leland Ryken’s book “Worldly Saints” the early Reformed did play football (or at least a primitive form of it). Apparently John Knox scorded a lot of goals from mid-field, though rumour has it that Peter Loughridge dismisses this achievement on the basis that most of Knox’s goals either came from penalties or from deflections. ;-)

  13. Peter November 4, 2009 at 9:58 am #

    Too right! :-D

    Very good Daniel! I didn’t realise Knox was an earlier version of Cristiano Ronaldo!

  14. Daniel Ritchie November 4, 2009 at 10:32 pm #

    I was thinking of Frank Lampard.

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